By Reiyn Lin
First things first, I would love to give thanks to Quinten Bolden for being an incredible interviewee and folks from the SI LGBTQ center.
10 things you should know before starting Testosterone
Like a label on a cereal box, I’m here to provide a little guidance. By the end of this list you would have some knowledge of what to expect when starting testosterone. Starting T is a grey area for many individuals of the Trans community. This is by all means no way to scare you out of taking T, but hopefully help calm any nerves and jittery-bugs in your pants.
Testosterone is just like any other medication. It has its changes …
- You might notice yourself struggling to hit that falsetto key in chorus club at Sunday Mass. Yes, your voice may drop a few octaves lower. expect to sound like you’ve been smoking for decades like it’s nobody’s business… well because it is nobody’s business anyway.
as well as and its side effects…
- Expect your sex drive to be over level 9000. ‘nough said. Hormones will make you horny… for my fellow sexually active beings out there; yes it will make you even more so.
- It is not a promise that you will grow facial hair or a thick beard. I’ve seen plenty of cis guys that attempt to grow facial hair but cant.
- What if’s?
Quinten Bolden; the President of Pride Alliance and your average twenty year old Trans Joe, once said, “the scariest effects of T are the, what if’s?” your doctor might tell you beforehand that health wise, there is A GREATER risk for blood clots, heart disease, diabetes and inflammation to liver. many long term effects of going on T are still unknown but that doesn’t mean we should hide in fear of the what if’s?
- There will be no menstruating up in here… well eventually
our bodies work differently, a few trans men will still menstruate for a while even after taking T. the trade-off is you won’t get cramps and you get to save money on tampons!
- Not all insurance covers T, if yours doesn’t, research, research, research.
all hope is not lost, my fellow joes. there may been hidden resources in your area that can help you pay for T base on your income. you can even apply for health care grants.
- Not everyone will agree or fully support your choice.
People might not want to deal with change. let them know, you haven’t changed, you’re just one step closer to being you.
- You will find people who accept you for you.
there are wonderful unicorn beings in this world that will stay with you through it all. I know, because I am a believer and a witness of this. yes, there is still faith left in humanity. There are so many communities out there that want you to know, you are not alone. it is also important to ask for help when you need it.
- Changes take time.
Nothing is achieved overnight. IT might take as long as years or decades but anything beyond great is a gradual process. Trust me, the wait is worth it.
- You don’t have to take T for the rest of your life to pass.
Some changes can be permanent. It depends on the individual and what changes they’re trying to achieve. Honestly, the word “passing” sounds like we’re only just quite but not enough. How about barely managing to score a C+ on that biology final? Identity and passing is how we define it, why should we let society define it for us? Take that power in your hands and tell yourself you’re good enough.